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Ski Helmet - MIPS, is it worth it?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Steilhang wrote:
@nelly0168, I would guess that your head is going to have more grip on snow than a smooth helmet (without GoPro of course). So if that is true then no, the helmet is not going to cause the problem which MIPS alleviates

Not sure what the frictional coefficients of bald heads vs hairy heads on snow are going to be so there may be room for argument here...


So, a market for beanie hats with a slippy surface Very Happy

Its a wierd one this MIPS stuff - while I fully understand the effects of a slip plane, and am on board that current helmet certification (in the cycle world) only requires a straight drop from 6 feet or so, so not replicating real world falls.

However I am not sold that a 15mm slip plane in a helmet does a whole lot unless your fall is very low speed / force. If I take a tumble on to my bonce, just the force a simple fall would push more than the 15mm, thereby (in my limited experience) limiting severely the MIPS USP.

Maybe I am overthinking it?
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@foxtrotzulu, ...er...supporting evidence? There’s a mountain of it....

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0691/a97a56a2197f2d3fbaf5f5cb4ba786349e03.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4090913/

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1039.html

http://dmm.biologists.org/content/11/1/dmm030387

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.2015.4288

https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/32719/are-mips-helmets-actually-any-safer-than-standard-helmets-independent-research

And on MIPS, in relation to the pile of fully-peer-referenced evidence re rotational brain trauma:

https://cerebrovortex.com/2012/12/24/mips/
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@nelly0168, ...you are spot in re the limits of testing, which was established by the brilliant work of the Snell Foundation in the 1950s and 1960s, when the rotational mechanism was less well established, and concussion was not recognised as being as serious as it is now. Formula 1 drivers wore thin cork helmets FFS...

...and so impact injury was a no1 priority in the 1960s - the testing prioritised this, hence the anvil test, which has persisted until recently as the main criterion. The MIPS research is shifting the paradigm considerably - and is a real contribution based on solid science.

I think that the scepticism about MIPS is like the nonsense which was stated against HANS.....HANS has transformed survival in NASCAR, a notable sceptic of HANS went out after a tirade against HANS and promptly stuffed into the wall with a brain stem separation...
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@Layne, ...no not regularly. But I whacked a tree branch on a tree run recently, just a minor error of judgement on a run which required a lot of judgement. BANG...but fine....thanks POC.

ValaisGrom2 was day 4 on a snowboard (he skis at an elite level on skis) and caught an edge on a narrow section, and fell off the track onto rocks. Dent in helmet, but otherwise fine. Thanks POC. Not an unusual accident, we rescued a youngster last year who had done the same thing on skis and had sustained a nasty concussion.

Ice....was in zero viz on steeps three years’ ago and hit something uneven and big, I know not what, since the cloud was passing between hand and eye when you held your arm up....and WHACK...down onto concrete ice. It was fine...thank you POC.

These are few and far between, but would have been far more significant had we not had the head protection we needed.

Body armour? Yes back protectors for me and the ValaisGroms, but only full protection when summer DH at the moment....ah...except knee protectors when Grom2 is on the boxes....
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valais2 wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, ...er...supporting evidence? There’s a mountain of it....

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0691/a97a56a2197f2d3fbaf5f5cb4ba786349e03.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4090913/

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1039.html

http://dmm.biologists.org/content/11/1/dmm030387

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.2015.4288

https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/32719/are-mips-helmets-actually-any-safer-than-standard-helmets-independent-research

And on MIPS, in relation to the pile of fully-peer-referenced evidence re rotational brain trauma:

https://cerebrovortex.com/2012/12/24/mips/


Valais - That's loads of supporting evidence about rotational brain injuries. I'm not sure anyone was disputing that. The question was whether there is any supporting evidence that MIPS is effective at reducing those injuries. Only a couple of those links even mention MIPS and neither of them present any sort of evidence that MIPS actually helps. I'm certainly not arguing that the concept makes sense (to an amateur like me) and MIPS is something I would probably consider when replacing my helmet. However, while I appreciate that full scale medical trials are rather too much to expect I do maintain that you haven't presented evidence of any sort at all. I can't help feeling that they must have tried hurling a dummy packed with sensors down a ski slope or onto tarmac.

This was the sort of 'evidence' I was hoping for: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770518 However, that relates to a different sort of helmet.

We've previously referenced The Snell Foundation as being on of the leading organisations looking at helmet design. I can't find much about MIPS on their website, but did stumble across this quote elsewhere "An article in the May/June 2016 issue of Consumers Digest available only behind their pay wall reported that their interviewees did not offer strong support for MIPS. A Snell Memorial Foundation employee was quoted as saying that in her opinion MIPS is "snake oil to get people to spend money."" - Perhaps a better question is how much difference the MIPS system can make when compared to the natural slip planes that are already in place anyway e.g. movement of helmet on head, hair, scalp etc.

I'm not specifically sceptical about MIPS. I'm just making the point that just because rotation injuries are bad and MIPS is designed to address the problem doesn't necessarily mean that it does so.
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@foxtrotzulu, right, now I can see where you are coming from and you are absolutely correct about the lack of high quality evidence for all the MIPS helmets now available, particularly in cycling; this article puts the case clearly I think:

https://helmets.org/mips.htm

I always have had a lot of respect for the SNELL Foundation, given what it achieved in its early days, but I was rather taken aback by the 'snake oil' comment when it was made - it's been very widely reported on-line and has somewhat taken on a life of its own - in a bad way I think.

So far, I think collectively we know that there is a mechanism (rotational brain injury) and that mitigation would be a good thing. We know that there are thresholds re energy transmission good v bad and so preventing spikes in energy transmission is a good thing. We do know that the original POC helmets had a relatively symmetrical shape (POC Receptor Backcountry) and that the MIPS application there was faithful to the original MIPS modelling and allows sufficient movement to reduce spikes in energy transmission. The lab tests suggest by how much but you are entirely right as to lack of high quality knowledge about how this plays out in actual use re trauma outcomes.

a small footnote - I treat 'the scalp is the body's natural MIPS' as being true but trivial - rotational brain injury is so common that getting beyond this natural mechanism may be a very good idea. The introduction of external thin ABS skins to early bike helmets was a vital move re slip planes. And finally I think that the helmet testing standards are way out of date.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
valais2 wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, right, now I can see where you are coming from and you are absolutely correct about the lack of high quality evidence for all the MIPS helmets now available, particularly in cycling; this article puts the case clearly I think:

https://helmets.org/mips.htm

I always have had a lot of respect for the SNELL Foundation, given what it achieved in its early days, but I was rather taken aback by the 'snake oil' comment when it was made - it's been very widely reported on-line and has somewhat taken on a life of its own - in a bad way I think.

So far, I think collectively we know that there is a mechanism (rotational brain injury) and that mitigation would be a good thing. We know that there are thresholds re energy transmission good v bad and so preventing spikes in energy transmission is a good thing. We do know that the original POC helmets had a relatively symmetrical shape (POC Receptor Backcountry) and that the MIPS application there was faithful to the original MIPS modelling and allows sufficient movement to reduce spikes in energy transmission. The lab tests suggest by how much but you are entirely right as to lack of high quality knowledge about how this plays out in actual use re trauma outcomes.

a small footnote - I treat 'the scalp is the body's natural MIPS' as being true but trivial - rotational brain injury is so common that getting beyond this natural mechanism may be a very good idea. The introduction of external thin ABS skins to early bike helmets was a vital move re slip planes. And finally I think that the helmet testing standards are way out of date.


Another way of looking at it is asking if there is anything detrimental about adding MIPS to a helmet? i.e. can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? I wear a POC Receptor MIPS (a manufacturer I consider to be serious about making safe helmets) and don't see any obvious downside to the MIPS system installed. Sure it costs a little more, but I consider that cost trivial if MIPS has any benefit at all, however small. If MIPS turns out to have literally no benefit at all then I guess I'm a little out of pocket, which is no big deal. I find it hard to believe MIPS would make the same helmet any less safe to wear than the non-MIPS version. Maybe it adds a little weight as a downside?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
uktrailmonster wrote:
valais2 wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, right, now I can see where you are coming from and you are absolutely correct about the lack of high quality evidence for all the MIPS helmets now available, particularly in cycling; this article puts the case clearly I think:

https://helmets.org/mips.htm

I always have had a lot of respect for the SNELL Foundation, given what it achieved in its early days, but I was rather taken aback by the 'snake oil' comment when it was made - it's been very widely reported on-line and has somewhat taken on a life of its own - in a bad way I think.

So far, I think collectively we know that there is a mechanism (rotational brain injury) and that mitigation would be a good thing. We know that there are thresholds re energy transmission good v bad and so preventing spikes in energy transmission is a good thing. We do know that the original POC helmets had a relatively symmetrical shape (POC Receptor Backcountry) and that the MIPS application there was faithful to the original MIPS modelling and allows sufficient movement to reduce spikes in energy transmission. The lab tests suggest by how much but you are entirely right as to lack of high quality knowledge about how this plays out in actual use re trauma outcomes.

a small footnote - I treat 'the scalp is the body's natural MIPS' as being true but trivial - rotational brain injury is so common that getting beyond this natural mechanism may be a very good idea. The introduction of external thin ABS skins to early bike helmets was a vital move re slip planes. And finally I think that the helmet testing standards are way out of date.


Another way of looking at it is asking if there is anything detrimental about adding MIPS to a helmet? i.e. can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? I wear a POC Receptor MIPS (a manufacturer I consider to be serious about making safe helmets) and don't see any obvious downside to the MIPS system installed. Sure it costs a little more, but I consider that cost trivial if MIPS has any benefit at all, however small. If MIPS turns out to have literally no benefit at all then I guess I'm a little out of pocket, which is no big deal. I find it hard to believe MIPS would make the same helmet any less safe to wear than the non-MIPS version. Maybe it adds a little weight as a downside?
this is a really sensible way of looking at it, also the POC receptor can take a few bangs also the way without losing integrity.
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Sack the Juggler wrote:
... can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? ... this is a really sensible way of looking at it, also the POC receptor can take a few bangs also the way without losing integrity.

Exploring your logic, I think you're saying that absence of evidence *for* is always acceptable, which is the opposite of the skeptics' line for this. Your approach sounds like Prospect Theory in action: irrespective of the probability, you don't want the down-side, so you insure against it. But why then would you not wear a full face helmet? If you've seen a few facial injuries you'd be thinking that it's obvious that full face helmets are safer.. yet they're not fashionable, so they're not used even though they can hardly make you "any less safe". I don't agree that's a "sensible way of looking at it", because it lacks consistency, rigour or evidence.

--
As far as evidence for MIPS is concerned, I'm not sure I understand the value of helmet tests designed for extremely low speed impacts - falling off stationary bicycles is not the same as the sort of trauma skiers are worried about. It would be nice to see real-world statistics showing a clear reduction in serious head injuries and fatalities of MIPS wearers versus others. But then we do not have that level of evidence for ski helmets themselves. Turning that around, there's as much evidence for MIPS as for anything else, so it seems hard to maintain that ski helmets are good despite the lack of evidence, yet MIPS is bad for the same reason.

It all seems rather strange. Rather like rear entry boots, I'm unconvinced that people aren't doing it simply because it's what's done.
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philwig wrote:
Sack the Juggler wrote:
... can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? ... this is a really sensible way of looking at it, also the POC receptor can take a few bangs also the way without losing integrity.

Exploring your logic, I think you're saying that absence of evidence *for* is always acceptable, which is the opposite of the skeptics' line for this. Your approach sounds like Prospect Theory in action: irrespective of the probability, you don't want the down-side, so you insure against it. But why then would you not wear a full face helmet? If you've seen a few facial injuries you'd be thinking that it's obvious that full face helmets are safer.. yet they're not fashionable, so they're not used even though they can hardly make you "any less safe". I don't agree that's a "sensible way of looking at it", because it lacks consistency, rigour or evidence.

--
As far as evidence for MIPS is concerned, I'm not sure I understand the value of helmet tests designed for extremely low speed impacts - falling off stationary bicycles is not the same as the sort of trauma skiers are worried about. It would be nice to see real-world statistics showing a clear reduction in serious head injuries and fatalities of MIPS wearers versus others. But then we do not have that level of evidence for ski helmets themselves. Turning that around, there's as much evidence for MIPS as for anything else, so it seems hard to maintain that ski helmets are good despite the lack of evidence, yet MIPS is bad for the same reason.

It all seems rather strange. Rather like rear entry boots, I'm unconvinced that people aren't doing it simply because it's what's done.
not sure I'm following your logic? this is not a ski helmet v no ski helmet discussion.

This is about whether you accept all the research that has been done into rotational brain injuries, and the damage they can cause. And if you do accept that research, and if you decide to buy a lid, whether you consider the MIPS system worth the extra money, or not.
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valais2 wrote:
@Layne, ...no not regularly. But I whacked a tree branch on a tree run recently, just a minor error of judgement on a run which required a lot of judgement. BANG...but fine....thanks POC.

ValaisGrom2 was day 4 on a snowboard (he skis at an elite level on skis) and caught an edge on a narrow section, and fell off the track onto rocks. Dent in helmet, but otherwise fine. Thanks POC. Not an unusual accident, we rescued a youngster last year who had done the same thing on skis and had sustained a nasty concussion.

Ice....was in zero viz on steeps three years’ ago and hit something uneven and big, I know not what, since the cloud was passing between hand and eye when you held your arm up....and WHACK...down onto concrete ice. It was fine...thank you POC.

These are few and far between, but would have been far more significant had we not had the head protection we needed.

Body armour? Yes back protectors for me and the ValaisGroms, but only full protection when summer DH at the moment....ah...except knee protectors when Grom2 is on the boxes....

This will be my last word on this particular strand of the discussion because it isn't really what this thread is about. It's also not just because I like to have the last word. Honest! Also, I don't want to make it too personal. Because I'm not that sort of guy. Unless it's stanton, although I have him on ignore these days. But, given all those caveats, I think you are guilty of confirmation bias here. You're sold on the MIPS idea/technology, have invested heavily in it and now every incident involving a bang to the head it's a life saver. I opened one of the links you provided to foxtrot and it was about baby shaking. From that and what foxtrot said it seems again you are looking for any evidence, no matter how loosely connected, that MIPS is the bees knees. It may be but I am not convinced you have an objective view on this. I see helmets as a bit like a bleeper. If you are doing it right there should be abolutely no need for it. At best/worst it's a once in a lifetime saviour. MIPS is kind of like saying is this bleeper tech massively better than this other tech. In other words will it make a marked difference to the outcome. Given your point yourself in a situation where a helmet is critical (should be rare) you've then got the is MIPs really much of a game changer. I'd suggest that people strapping go pro's to their helmets, having ill fitting helmets, etc. is more of an issue. Don't mean to offend I just have a bit a thing about evidence based decsions/opinions.
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uktrailmonster wrote:
Another way of looking at it is asking if there is anything detrimental about adding MIPS to a helmet? i.e. can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS?

Logic dicates if you don't have the evidence that it is more safe you can not say or prove that is less safe. Maybe the MIPS offsets some of the other functions of the helmet or reduces the effectiveness of other elements of the helmet.

uktrailmonster wrote:
I wear a POC Receptor MIPS (a manufacturer I consider to be serious about making safe helmets) and don't see any obvious downside to the MIPS system installed. Sure it costs a little more, but I consider that cost trivial if MIPS has any benefit at all, however small. If MIPS turns out to have literally no benefit at all then I guess I'm a little out of pocket, which is no big deal. I find it hard to believe MIPS would make the same helmet any less safe to wear than the non-MIPS version. Maybe it adds a little weight as a downside?

Again, without wishing to insult your intelligence. You've spent the money, unless someone can provide very good evidence that it's detrimental, you will naturally take this view. I think we all agree that safety and our health is paramount but let me put this to you, if MIPS added £100 or £200 to the helmet price, would you still buy it? If I can convince you I will save your skull how much will you pay me?
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Layne wrote:
uktrailmonster wrote:
Another way of looking at it is asking if there is anything detrimental about adding MIPS to a helmet? i.e. can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS?

Logic dicates if you don't have the evidence that it is more safe you can not say or prove that is less safe. Maybe the MIPS offsets some of the other functions of the helmet or reduces the effectiveness of other elements of the helmet.

uktrailmonster wrote:
I wear a POC Receptor MIPS (a manufacturer I consider to be serious about making safe helmets) and don't see any obvious downside to the MIPS system installed. Sure it costs a little more, but I consider that cost trivial if MIPS has any benefit at all, however small. If MIPS turns out to have literally no benefit at all then I guess I'm a little out of pocket, which is no big deal. I find it hard to believe MIPS would make the same helmet any less safe to wear than the non-MIPS version. Maybe it adds a little weight as a downside?

Again, without wishing to insult your intelligence. You've spent the money, unless someone can provide very good evidence that it's detrimental, you will naturally take this view. I think we all agree that safety and our health is paramount but let me put this to you, if MIPS added £100 or £200 to the helmet price, would you still buy it? If I can convince you I will save your skull how much will you pay me?
but there is a lot of research on the subject of rotational brain injury, and whether or not there is empirical evidence proving that MIPS reduces this, there has been a lot of work done by the blokes and blokesses behind MIPS and you can choose to put some trust in their product or not.

If it was only accessable to the rich then they may feel that the extra £200 was worth it, but if its a matter of £30-£40 then this technology is more accessible to the masses, and more people can choose to use it or not.

That is not to say that non MIPS helmet do not work any longer, its just that the next level of safety mechanism is now available. A bit like when disc brakes took over from drum brakes, there may not have been empirical evidence to show that it was worth the upgrade, but a lot of car manufacturers took it up as part of their active safety. Not sure how relevant that example was, but to me, MIPS makes sense, whether it works or not is another thing, but some will choose to put their trust in the physics of it (including me now).
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philwig wrote:
Sack the Juggler wrote:
... can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? ... this is a really sensible way of looking at it, also the POC receptor can take a few bangs also the way without losing integrity.

Exploring your logic, I think you're saying that absence of evidence *for* is always acceptable, which is the opposite of the skeptics' line for this. Your approach sounds like Prospect Theory in action: irrespective of the probability, you don't want the down-side, so you insure against it. But why then would you not wear a full face helmet? If you've seen a few facial injuries you'd be thinking that it's obvious that full face helmets are safer.. yet they're not fashionable, so they're not used even though they can hardly make you "any less safe". I don't agree that's a "sensible way of looking at it", because it lacks consistency, rigour or evidence.

--
As far as evidence for MIPS is concerned, I'm not sure I understand the value of helmet tests designed for extremely low speed impacts - falling off stationary bicycles is not the same as the sort of trauma skiers are worried about. It would be nice to see real-world statistics showing a clear reduction in serious head injuries and fatalities of MIPS wearers versus others. But then we do not have that level of evidence for ski helmets themselves. Turning that around, there's as much evidence for MIPS as for anything else, so it seems hard to maintain that ski helmets are good despite the lack of evidence, yet MIPS is bad for the same reason.

It all seems rather strange. Rather like rear entry boots, I'm unconvinced that people aren't doing it simply because it's what's done.


There are real downsides to wearing a full face helmet, so it's not the same kind of decision to make. I wore a full-face helmet for mountain biking (hardcore trail and DH) and found it much harder to breathe and much more claustrophobic. So for XC and more relaxed trail riding I wear an open faced helmet. It's less "safe" but more practical for the job. Same for skiing, I don't feel the need to wear a full-face helmet for recreational skiing. But MIPS doesn't involve any real compromise in terms of safety vs comfort/practicality.
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Layne wrote:

Again, without wishing to insult your intelligence. You've spent the money, unless someone can provide very good evidence that it's detrimental, you will naturally take this view. I think we all agree that safety and our health is paramount but let me put this to you, if MIPS added £100 or £200 to the helmet price, would you still buy it? If I can convince you I will save your skull how much will you pay me?


Companies like POC and Sweet Protection are clear leaders in helmet technology and both offer MIPS helmets. I very much doubt they would buy into this technology themselves if they didn't think it was a worthwhile safety addition. MIPS itself was the result of considerable academic research, so it's highly likely to have some real benefits and very unlikely to be detrimental. MIPS doesn't even cost all that much money to the end user, so no need to overthink things here. For me that's enough to warrant buying a MIPS helmet over a non-MIPS version of the same helmet. I don't need to research it to death any further. It's like people who still insist that any form of helmet is a total waste of time because of lack of concrete evidence that they actually reduce injury. Statistics are notoriously hard to analyse with complete objectivity and clarity. When you buy any technical product, you have to have some trust in the manufacturer knowing their game. It's easy to convince yourself that everything is complete BS if you want to. Personally I trust POC helmets and will happily buy their top range products, which happen to include MIPS technology.
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@Layne, ...oops a slight misread of my post on 'thank you POC'. My response was not about MIPS. It was simply a response to your post which suggested 'gosh you guys seem to bash yourselves around a lot, perhaps you should stop being careless and wear body armour'. Rather than be grumpy in response, I was just pointing out that the incidents were relatively rare occurrences in a long time of being on the hill, but when an incident has occurred I have been grateful to wear high quality protection. Two of these incidents were before MIPS was introduced to the POC range. So I was not making any MIPS-related points, I was just saying 'actually we are not careless or bonkers'. POC helmets were what was being worn during these incidents. They have simply specialised in making damn fine headgear for a long time.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
uktrailmonster wrote:

Companies like POC and Sweet Protection are clear leaders in helmet technology and both offer MIPS helmets. I very much doubt they would buy into this technology themselves if they didn't think it was a worthwhile safety addition. MIPS itself was the result of considerable academic research, so it's highly likely to have some real benefits and very unlikely to be detrimental. MIPS doesn't even cost all that much money to the end user, so no need to overthink things here. For me that's enough to warrant buying a MIPS helmet over a non-MIPS version of the same helmet. I don't need to research it to death any further. It's like people who still insist that any form of helmet is a total waste of time because of lack of concrete evidence that they actually reduce injury. Statistics are notoriously hard to analyse with complete objectivity and clarity. When you buy any technical product, you have to have some trust in the manufacturer knowing their game. It's easy to convince yourself that everything is complete BS if you want to. Personally I trust POC helmets and will happily buy their top range products, which happen to include MIPS technology.


You dont think they might add it to their helmets in order to make a few quid extra? In the same manner that manufacturers have been doing since they were introduced?

As a cyclist (as am I), surely you must recall all the pseudo science mumbo jumbo they have introduced over the years in an attempt to extract more cash from enthusiasts eager to have the latest thing?

I am still not 100% convinced that MIPS technology does anything other than mitigate an issue which is related to the wearing of a safety helmet itself. That being the case, the manufacturers - if convinced that this feature is so good - should not be selling non-MIPS helmets full stop.

Perhaps the pre-MIPS helmet is guilty of being this decades Opti-Grab from Steve Martins The Jerk???
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valais2 wrote:
We have top of the range POC helmets with MIPS.
They are able to take multiple hits.

Yeah but your HEAD shouldn't be taking multiple hits with or without a helmet. Are POC really claiming that "multiple hits" is an acceptable selling point?
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@Pruman, I think the term ‘multiple hits’ perhaps conveys the idea that it’s fine to go around whacking your head hard - it is of course not ok. Rather, the phrase should perhaps be ‘POC make helmets that you don’t have to throw away after one impact that the helmet prevented becoming an injury of any kind’. Has my son’s helmet stopped two injuries from occurring in the last two years? Yes. The helmet, a POC Fornix, has two damage areas, and he is fine. Both incidents were errors, one during his fourth day snowboarding (he is a superlative skier) and the other an error while doing a 180 off a jump. Both were the kind of incidents I have seen frequently throughout many years of skiing, and are exactly why we wear helmets. He walked away from both with no injury and simply a ‘well I won’t do that again...’ statement. It was helpful that we did not need to throw the helmet away.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 17-04-18 13:36; edited 1 time in total
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@uktrailmonster,
Quote:

Another way of looking at it is asking if there is anything detrimental about adding MIPS to a helmet? i.e. can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? I wear a POC Receptor MIPS (a manufacturer I consider to be serious about making safe helmets) and don't see any obvious downside to the MIPS system installed. Sure it costs a little more, but I consider that cost trivial if MIPS has any benefit at all, however small. If MIPS turns out to have literally no benefit at all then I guess I'm a little out of pocket, which is no big deal. I find it hard to believe MIPS would make the same helmet any less safe to wear than the non-MIPS version. Maybe it adds a little weight as a downside?


I think that's a reasonable attitude and my gut feeling is that MIPS probably does add some (small) advantages. However, to answer your question about whether there are any downsides to MIPS, it seems as though they answer may be 'yes'. A link I was looking at yesterday (but cannot find today - typical!) discussed the possible advantages but also referenced one potential downside: MIPS takes up space. This means that the helmet either needs to be bigger which would presumably increase the rotational leverage, (or whatever the right expression is,) on the wearer's head OR you keep the helmet the same size and sacrifice a certain amount of the space that would otherwise have been used for normal impact protection i.e. foam. thereby reducing the head-on impact protection.
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@uktrailmonster,
Quote:

I very much doubt they would buy into this technology themselves if they didn't think it was a worthwhile safety addition.
I'm one of the least sceptical people around, but I certainly don't buy into this logic. I think it's entirely fair to say that they wouldn't use this technology if they felt it was detrimental to safety but that's a very different thing from being convinced that it makes a significant contribution to safety.
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@valais2,
Quote:

a small footnote - I treat 'the scalp is the body's natural MIPS' as being true but trivial - rotational brain injury is so common that getting beyond this natural mechanism may be a very good idea.


I'm not sure it's trivial. The scalp probably moves about 10-15mm. About the same as MIPS. Of course, the MIPS movement is in addition to the scalp so that would seem to be a good thing. However, I suspect that a helmet would also slip against the head/hair by at least another 15-20mm. All of that makes the MIPS slippage rather less significant - but still potentially worth having.

Perhaps the best solution is simply to make sure you don't do your helmet up too tightly and thereby give yourself another 20-30mm on top of everything else. Very Happy
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A better idea might be for one of us to simply email Peter, Daniel or Johan and ask them for the R&D papers they mention on this page. (The actual ones on the page are of no help) ... http://mipsprotection.com/r-d-papers/
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nelly0168 wrote:
uktrailmonster wrote:

Companies like POC and Sweet Protection are clear leaders in helmet technology and both offer MIPS helmets. I very much doubt they would buy into this technology themselves if they didn't think it was a worthwhile safety addition. MIPS itself was the result of considerable academic research, so it's highly likely to have some real benefits and very unlikely to be detrimental. MIPS doesn't even cost all that much money to the end user, so no need to overthink things here. For me that's enough to warrant buying a MIPS helmet over a non-MIPS version of the same helmet. I don't need to research it to death any further. It's like people who still insist that any form of helmet is a total waste of time because of lack of concrete evidence that they actually reduce injury. Statistics are notoriously hard to analyse with complete objectivity and clarity. When you buy any technical product, you have to have some trust in the manufacturer knowing their game. It's easy to convince yourself that everything is complete BS if you want to. Personally I trust POC helmets and will happily buy their top range products, which happen to include MIPS technology.


You dont think they might add it to their helmets in order to make a few quid extra? In the same manner that manufacturers have been doing since they were introduced?



I don't think the likes of POC or Sweet Protection would add MIPS simply to make a few quid extra. In this case they are licensing 3rd party technology in the process too, so I would expect they have done their own due diligence before deciding to use it. Let's say you approach POC with some new safety feature you want to sell to them. They're not just going to add it to their helmets without first evaluating it and making an informed decision about whether it's actually a credible feature or not, worth the cost (both in licensing the technology and designing it into their helmets) and staking their own reputation on the line. It's not a trivial process to go through.

As for choosing not to sell non-MIPS helmets if they are convinced of the benefits, that doesn't make any sense at all. That would be analogous to a car manufacturer not selling ordinary inertia reel seat belts simply because the latest pre-tensioned belts are even safer. Both significantly increase safety over not wearing any form of seat belt at all. It's the same with helmets. Budget models often have less safety features than top-of-the-range models, but all provide some form of protection at different price points and all those from reputable manufacturers will conform to the relevant minimum safety standards. This applies to almost anything safety related, from ski helmets through to body armour, motorbike helmets etc. There are usually minimum safety standards to conform to, but there will never be a maximum safety standard!
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
@uktrailmonster,
Quote:

Another way of looking at it is asking if there is anything detrimental about adding MIPS to a helmet? i.e. can it possibly be any less safe with MIPS? I wear a POC Receptor MIPS (a manufacturer I consider to be serious about making safe helmets) and don't see any obvious downside to the MIPS system installed. Sure it costs a little more, but I consider that cost trivial if MIPS has any benefit at all, however small. If MIPS turns out to have literally no benefit at all then I guess I'm a little out of pocket, which is no big deal. I find it hard to believe MIPS would make the same helmet any less safe to wear than the non-MIPS version. Maybe it adds a little weight as a downside?


I think that's a reasonable attitude and my gut feeling is that MIPS probably does add some (small) advantages. However, to answer your question about whether there are any downsides to MIPS, it seems as though they answer may be 'yes'. A link I was looking at yesterday (but cannot find today - typical!) discussed the possible advantages but also referenced one potential downside: MIPS takes up space. This means that the helmet either needs to be bigger which would presumably increase the rotational leverage, (or whatever the right expression is,) on the wearer's head OR you keep the helmet the same size and sacrifice a certain amount of the space that would otherwise have been used for normal impact protection i.e. foam. thereby reducing the head-on impact protection.


I agree with this potential downside to MIPS. Although the MIPS helmets I've tried and the POC Receptor I've been using for the last few years don't seem overly compromised in their design to incorporate MIPS. I think the POC Receptor always had a double shell design anyway, so adding MIPS would have been relatively easy and possibly with little or no compromise in volume.
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@uktrailmonster,
Quote:

I don't think the likes of POC or Sweet Protection would add MIPS simply to make a few quid extra. In this case they are licensing 3rd party technology in the process too, so I would expect they have done their own due diligence before deciding to use it. Let's say you approach POC with some new safety feature you want to sell to them. They're not just going to add it to their helmets without first evaluating it and making an informed decision about whether it's actually a credible feature or not, worth the cost (both in licensing the technology and designing it into their helmets) and staking their own reputation on the line. It's not a trivial process to go through.


Don't forget that 'making a few extra quid' is their raison d'etre. Almost every industry I can think of is littered with examples of highly reputable companies using scientific 'advances' to help flog products. Some of those are genuine advances but a great many are not. E.g. pharma companies selling extra special Neurofen, Health Food shops selling supplements and multi-vitamins, supermarkets selling fish oil to make your children brighter etc. I would be inclined to give POC etc. the benefit of the doubt and say that they firmly believe that MIPS will help but I wouldn't be convinced that they have any evidence to support it. Then again, we don't know what is in the research papers that MIPS refer to. They may well include conclusive proof.
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@foxtrotzulu, By ‘trivial’ I meant this: the mechanism is there - if you have a scalp, which I assume that is the case with normal SHs - and so it can be taken for granted in injury dynamics. It is NOT a trivial mechanism but is there already when you whack yourself - so saying ‘natural MIPS’ is not really saying anything. People get rotational brain injury despite this natural mechanism if the energy levels and dynamics exceed its ability to protect the brain.

A reflection: when I crashed and burned on the South Downs in 1999, falling at speed onto large flints and concrete chalk, my (Specialised off road) helmet stopped my skull from being smashed, but the form of accident and (and possibly soft helmet type) caused substantial rotational brain injury. If I had not had a helmet I would have had a serious impact injury. If I had not had the helmet I might have avoided rotational brain injury - but I would have most likely been dead. Whether the helmet suppressed the natural MIPS of my scalp is a bit of an unknown.

So....the ‘natural MIPS’ is just there for all - and in that sense is trivial. It being there defines the levels at which energy levels and dynamics cause specific injury - both temporary and permanent. What we are discussing in the effectiveness of, and evidence for, specific forms of augmentation on top of this natural baseline mechanism.

My sense is that there are a lot of change going on re the attention being paid to clinical evidence on injury mechanisms, and mismatch between the implications of the research which is now being used in helmet design and the testing standards.

Re preferred MIPS helmets? I indeed read on publication the article re MIPS taking up space in (some) cycling helmets. Aero shapes obviously have limitations, too. We use POC Receptor Backcountry MIPS for skiing - a bone-dome hemi-spherical design which allows the liner to retain its high volume and yet allow very substantial amounts of movement of the inner relative to the outer. We moved onto the Receptor when the kids were old enough to handle the extra weight. Up to then we used POC Fornix. For cycling we use POC Crane MIPS off-road - again a bone-dome model.
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Wow, just caught up on SH and had a read on this thread.......some folks do like to know the ins and outs of stuff!

I wear Sweet Protection ski helmet with MIPS and for mountain-biking same brand but without. I tend to push myself harder when skiing so went for MIPS and on my MTB just mostly XC but am increasingly doing more endure stuff, so next time I change I will be upgrading to MIPS for my MTB helmet. My roadbike helmet non-MIPS.

That said not for one minute did I think (nor still don't) that it doesn't offer a benefit versus the standard fit, call me naïve etc but I naturally thought that it was more expensive, was well marketed and seemed to offer additional benefits then i'd have it for the additional money. When I buy a car I don't ask VAG or whoever for their criteria as to why they add ABS, seat-belts, airbags etc, and then try and justify why I should have a car without them, I kind of take their word for it, they seem to know what they are doing.
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Markymark29 wrote:
Wow, just caught up on SH and had a read on this thread.......some folks do like to know the ins and outs of stuff!

Err, check which forum you are posting on. If we aren't going to discuss helmets and helmet tech on here, then it won't be done anywhere!

Markymark29 wrote:
That said not for one minute did I think (nor still don't) that it doesn't offer a benefit versus the standard fit, call me naïve etc but I naturally thought that it was more expensive, was well marketed and seemed to offer additional benefits then i'd have it for the additional money.

To be honest you do sound a bit naive. Stella is also reassuringly expensive wink

Markymark29 wrote:
When I buy a car I don't ask VAG or whoever for their criteria as to why they add ABS, seat-belts, airbags etc, and then try and justify why I should have a car without them, I kind of take their word for it, they seem to know what they are doing.

One, if you go any petrolhead forum or the like I suspect there is a lot of discussion on it. Two, maybe you should, as if you look at the stats it will be far more important to you than helmet tech. Three, car tyres.
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@Markymark29, ...your VAG etc point is one to note...the reason manufacturers, since Ralph Nader did his demolition on the woeful Ford Edsel in the ‘States over half a decade ago, have included such a range of safety features - collapsible zones, recessed windscreen wipers, recessed handles, air bags etc - is because of legislative pressure and the application of well-developed standards, accompanied by testing protocols. We do not yet have this to the same level of refinement with personal safety devices - hence the discussion above re the SNELL Foundation etc. The safety in motor vehicles has come for a reason, and it’s not simple market pressures....
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Great discussion. Belief vs evidence!
Same went on MTB forums. There is NO EVIDENCE MIPS is better than non MIPS. If there is I am buying MIPS. BTW I own both Sweet and POC, Troy Lee for MTB, road and ski, non MIPS obviously Laughing
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What sort of evidence are you actually expecting to see here? It's obviously not enough for some of you guys that a load of scientific research was carried out, a specific company established and pretty much every reputable helmet company in the world buying into the potential benefits of MIPS. They could all be wrong of course, but I doubt it. For me it's more a question of the degree of benefit and that could well be marginal or not. The cost difference was trivial for me (something like £20 from memory), so I bought the MIPS version of the helmet I wanted. I wouldn't consider MIPS to be a critical feature of a ski helmet, but given the choice of the same helmet in MIPS or non-MIPS form, I would always choose the latter unless someone in future proves that MIPS has zero benefit, in which case you would expect the whole MIPS thing to disappear anyway.
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@uktrailmonster, exactly.....at some point imo you've got to trust the market leading manufacturers to be acting in your best interest (the point I so eloquently made above) wink or maybe these guys want to see all the test results and working drawings etc before they are prepared to spend that extra £20. or maybe the buy cheapest helmets they can find and don't give a monkeys anyways they've just got too much time on their hands and enjoy a wind-up. rolling eyes
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@uktrailmonster,
Quote:

What sort of evidence are you actually expecting to see here?

Well, any evidence at all would be a start. I'm not expecting to see 100 years of records compiled from 100,000 instances of MIPS and non-MIPS helmet data, but something would be good. As I've said, I can't help feeling that there is some evidence out there. Presumably the scientific research produced some .... research. I can't help feeling that MIPS have a test rig where they drop the helmet onto various angled surfaces and measure the stresses in some jelly blob inside the helmet or whatever. As you say, many manufacturers have bought into the idea so we'd assume that they have seen some research. I'm rather surprised the helmet manufacturers aren't using the research. This is the first hint I've found of anything, but it's too small to read and might just be an artists impression. https://i0.wp.com/snowadvice.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/mips-helmet-protection-system.jpg?ssl=1

The sort of thing I had in mind was something like this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770518 However, as I said before, this links to research for a different system entirely.
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@Markymark29, The question we are debating is not whether we would personally buy a MIPS helmet. I've already said that i probably would, so your rather snide comments are rather unnecessary. In case you have forgotten, the question we are discussing is whether MIPS actually works:

Quote:
Happy weekend people, in the market for a new helmet so i have a decision to make.

MIPS, watching some videos of the technology on their site. Ok so it reduces rotational impact on the head when the helmet stops and your head and body carry on moving. Makes sense, that would reduce the impact....

But snow is slippy. Would your helmet simply stop on the snow? Friction probably wouldnt be as much as on road (totally see the benefit there) will your head simply slide or is something going to make it grip?

What about in powder? is it more useful there?

interested in getting some thoughts..


Now your response, and that of @uktrailmonster, seems to be along the lines of 'It seems to make sense and must work because the manufacturers are using it'. That response might help with a buying decision but it doesn't really answer the question of whether MIPS is beneficial on the slopes. We've all agreed that it's unlikely to do any harm but is that all we want to know? Homeopathy doesn't do any harm but we still research it and discuss it.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:

Now your response, and that of @uktrailmonster, seems to be along the lines of 'It seems to make sense and must work because the manufacturers are using it'. That response might help with a buying decision but it doesn't really answer the question of whether MIPS is beneficial on the slopes. We've all agreed that it's unlikely to do any harm but is that all we want to know? Homeopathy doesn't do any harm but we still research it and discuss it.


My view is that the theory makes sense and pretty much all respected helmet manufacturers are offering MIPS in their products for a trivial extra cost. For me that is enough to buy into it without seeing any detailed research or objective proof that it works on the slopes. Would I upgrade to a MIPS helmet from a top line non-MIPS helmet if I didn't need a new helmet for any other reason? No. If I was buying a new helmet, would I choose to buy a MIPS helmet over the very same helmet without MIPS for an extra £20 or so? Yes! If MIPS cost £1000 would I want to see more evidence of its effectiveness before buying? Yes! This is the pragmatic view. A quick look on EB's website and you will see that pretty much all their top end helmets include MIPS, most mid-range helmets have it and even a few of the budget models. MIPS has now become a pretty standard feature in current quality recreational ski helmets.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 19-04-18 17:07; edited 1 time in total
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valais2 wrote:
@Pruman, I think the term ‘multiple hits’ perhaps conveys the idea that it’s fine to go around whacking your head hard - it is of course not ok. Rather, the phrase should perhaps be ‘POC make helmets that you don’t have to throw away after one impact that the helmet prevented becoming an injury of any kind’. Has my son’s helmet stopped two injuries from occurring in the last two years? Yes. The helmet, a POC Fornix, has two damage areas, and he is fine. Both incidents were errors, one during his fourth day snowboarding (he is a superlative skier) and the other an error while doing a 180 off a jump. Both were the kind of incidents I have seen frequently throughout many years of skiing, and are exactly why we wear helmets. He walked away from both with no injury and simply a ‘well I won’t do that again...’ statement. It was helpful that we did not need to throw the helmet away.


Doesn't really matter how you dress it up or justify the why/what etc, fact is that your son has on average one 'hit' to the head per year based on the evidence above. At what point do you think that should stop? What degree of 'hit' are you happy to accept? Ask a neurologist. Helmets, MIPS or otherwise, don't prevent concussion. Two hits is a risk of second impact syndrome (SIS) - best look it up.

And I don't care what the manufacturer says, a helmet that's taken a whack isn't the same as a new one. How can it be? How much of a whack? Where on the helmet? etc etc. They wouldn't know. And they don't care either by the way. You've bought into the BS.
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@Pruman, gosh many thanks for saying that I am susceptible to bullsh+t.

What an objectionable post from you; you question my approach as a parent without knowing any of the details of our lives. You will note that none of my posts on SH ever adopt the same tone as you have here.

Skiing is a high risk sport, as is DH and XC mountain biking. All of which we do as a family, as do thousands of children around the world. I have been accused elsewhere on this site of ‘wrapping my children in cotton wool’ by insisting on use of high spec helmets and backprotectors. Apparently can’t win.

As a result of your sound advice I will of course stop taking my children anywhere near mountains. Or roads. Or toasters. Or hot drinks. Or bathroom floors. Or trousers... since trousers are a major cause of admission to London A&E departments.

I understand fully about second impact syndrome and understand and have read extensively on the mechanisms. Thanks for recommending I read the literature. I have already. You may be confusing the literature on SIS (where a second impact occurs before the symptoms of a first concussion have resolved) and SIS is often fatal - with longitudinal data on impairment and morbidity associated with multiple concussions over a lifetime (the research on US footballer players and boxers) which shows cognitive impairment and other effects. Maybe you have overlooked the work which distinguishes the two.

You are incorrect on your implied comments re the physics of head injury. I have never read anything which says ‘helmets do not prevent concussion’. Please post any refereed papers which state this. I would like to read them. I have however, read a great deal on the reverse. Helmets cause peaks of energy to be avoided, and thus a hit to a head with a helmet is not the same as a hit to the head without. My son has never had any symptom of concussion at all (using the medical indices with great precision - see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418135/). Unlike many of his friends who have: fallen out of trees; walked in front of swings; been run over by cars; fallen off skateboards; been hit on the head by each other; been hurt playing rugby and whacked playing hockey; and so on.

My son has skied for nearly 10pc of his 12 years on earth. He has had damage to his helmet - with no symptoms of concussion at all, in any way - on two occasions in 450 days of skiing in 10years.

And on the damage to his helmet (POC Fornix three years’ old) I stated two areas of damage. A small dent on the LH side (skiers’ left) above the ear area. A dent on the rear RH. Helmet now retired and replaced with new POC Receptor Backcountry MIPS.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 19-04-18 15:47; edited 5 times in total
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@valais2, Shocked yep, tad OTT.

All my helmets (ski, mtb and roadbike) have got dinks/ dents in them and have been involved in hits, if I replaced them every time I took a knock then i'd be buying one every few weeks. Only one I've retired early due to impact damage was my full face Arai motorbike helmet.....well I did spend 3 nights in an orthapaedics ward under obs, and arrived at A&E in an ambulance.......multiple injuries but my head was OK! T-Boned at 15mph, tank slapper and Bennetts/ hand and wrist fractures. Helmet not pretty, still got it 10 years on (not in use), and it took full facial impact on the road.....pre-MIPS and I survived wink Makes me think sometimes though and can get a bit giddy when i'm skiing fast and also on MTB downhills.......I'd still buy MIPS wherever I can though, get the latest and best you can is my mantra. I'm not into fine print either, if it does a job and comes well recommended I'm in.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 19-04-18 14:57; edited 1 time in total
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@Markymark29, thanks MM29 - eurgh...tank slapper...hate them. Whack, whack , whack....BANG. That’s when things DO seem to go into slow motion and last forever. Thanks for the OTT note....currently have tin helmet on waiting for reply....
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